Make Your Voice Count on Human Rights Day

Kate Ross

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on December 10, 1948, and now commemorated each year on Human Rights Day, set out to define a broad range of fundamental human rights that everyone in the world, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, should be entitled to. The declaration is recognized as the most “universal” document in the world, translated and disseminated into 380 languages. However in many parts of the world where this declaration is recognized, there are still many voices that continue to go unheard.

The focus of this year’s Human Rights Day is on "the rights of all people to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making.”

Today I am reflecting on the millions of people whose lives and livelihoods are impacted by the construction of large dams, and who, too often, do not have any say in the process. At the heart of our work we are striving for a world where people have the right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

Today is an opportunity to multiply your voice and make it count. In all the work we do, we need the support of people in the international community who can take action to defend the rights of communities fighting all over the world to protect the rivers that sustain them and to work for change in how and whether dams are planned, designed and built. Thank you for standing up for human rights today and every day.

Take Action:

Support Human Rights in Guatemala: Take action to support communities in Guatemala demanding justice for massacres caused by the Chixoy Dam.

International Day of Action to Defend the Amazon: Stand in solidarity with the people of the Xingu and call for justice in the Amazon.

Stand With River Protectors in India: Ask the Indian government to respect indigenous rights and protect the sacred Teesta River.

More information: 
  • Once you have taken action, you can share your message on Facebook and Twitter, use #VoiceCount to be part of the global conversation on Human Rights Day.